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*Sniff*...I feel alone. Are there any prog metallers out there?


Harp Heaven

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I`ve been hanging out at this forum for 3 weeks now, and I feel a little "out of place", if you see what I mean. I play in a progressive metal band, and its the genre I do best. The people on this forum, are extremely knowledgeable and I`ve learned a LOT just by being around and posting my non-sense questions and answers. However, musically, you all seem to be into jazz, electronic music(techno, trance, et.c), classical and lighter prog. Are there anyone on this board that digs the power of a roaring ESP, double kick, lush pads and high pitched vocals? I`m talking prog metal.

 

For those of you not into the genre, prog metal evolved out of the UK prog rock scene, especially King Crimson and ELP, with their fuzz-drenched recordings, were an influence on the pioneers of the genre. One of them I`m sure you know of: Rush. From Rush, you have the 90`s scene, with an extremely prominent and famous band, Dream Theater.

 

Dream Theater is a band of individuals to put it that way. All of the musicians with the possible exception of the singer are very famous and all have put out instruction videos, quite uncommon for a band. The current lineup is as following:

 

-James LaBrie: Vocals

-John Petrucci: Guitar

-John Myung: Bass

-Jordan Rudess: Keyboards

-Mike Portnoy: Drums

 

Other bands are Symphony X, Treshold, Pain Of Salvation, Vanden Plas and many more...What do you think of the bands or genre? I would really like to know, cuz`...well see the topic name :)

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I'm a huge fan of Greg Howe and Jason Becker...do they count?

 

I also still listen to King Crimson (especially pre-1974), ELP, Deep Purple, The Dregs, Pantera, Slayer, UK, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Michael Shanker, etc. on a regular basis.

 

Our music is filled with Double Kick drums and weird guitar sounds, I'm hugely influenced by the above bands and many more...not to mention Zappa.

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Originally posted by Steve LeBlanc:

I'm a huge fan of Greg Howe and Jason Becker...do they count?

 

I also still listen to King Crimson (especially pre-1974), ELP, Deep Purple, The Dregs, Pantera, Slayer, UK, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Michael Shanker, etc. on a regular basis.

 

Our music is filled with Double Kick drums and weird guitar sounds, I'm hugely influenced by the above bands and many more...not to mention Zappa.

 

Lets see:

 

Jason Becker: Huge shame about his disease. I love Perpetual Burn, not too fond of cacophony. Becker wouldn`t count as prog metal, its more "neoclassical shred-metal with progressive influencences". Cacophony is more "die-hard neo-classical guitar wanking".

 

Greg Howe: Holy crap! one of the most amazing guitar players to have graced the earth technically. Greg can be considered progressive, he uses a lot of fusion in his music, but just the same he will shell out this awesome shred or prog song. Very varied. His work with Vitalij Kuprij is better than the headliner. Crazy stuff.

 

KC can be considered Progressive Metal, especially their later releases. ELP is progressive rock. Pantera is the father of nu-metal. Slayer is pure trash/speed on the first recordings, now they`re death metal.

 

Ok, I admit it: I`m a genre definition freak.

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I see your point about Jason Becker and Cacophony but to me the drums just put it in a different catagory than most Neo-Classical shredders.

 

Dean Castranova and Otma Anur(sp?) are really creative, progressive drummers IMO.

 

I own 4 Greg Howe albums, they're all incredible...I especially like the stuff he plays drums on.

 

You're not alone... :D

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Its Atma Anur, not Otma Anur... ;)

 

I`m horrible as a drummer, its actually the only band-instrument I don`t have any degree of talent on. I can play bass, guitar, keys, sing, but I`m talentless as a drummer.

Naturally, I don`t listen to drums very much. I can`t tell if there`s a screw up in the drums if its not huge, as a contrast to keys, where I can hear mistakes that are inaudible to most drummers. Deen and Atma are awesome drummers, to say the least, put I don`t know if they add a lot to said music. Its mostly guitar-guitar-guitar all the way.

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Hi,

 

Can't call myself a prog-metaller, but there are quite many recordings in this genre that I like very much. For instance, the majority of DT albums are really cool (maybe except the very first one...). Also I'm very much into the stuff Steve Morse and his cohorts (Steve Morse Band, Dixie Dregs) play. (Though this must be more like prog-metal-fusion than strict prog-metal, or what?). Oh, and I'm a big Steve Vai fan. :)

 

Vladislav

I am back.
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Originally posted by Gulliver:

Hi,

 

Can't call myself a prog-metaller, but there are quite many recordings in this genre that I like very much. For instance, the majority of DT albums are really cool (maybe except the very first one...). Also I'm very much into the stuff Steve Morse and his cohorts (Steve Morse Band, Dixie Dregs) play. (Though this must be more like prog-metal-fusion than strict prog-metal, or what?). Oh, and I'm a big Steve Vai fan. :)

 

Vladislav

 

Actually, there is a very mixed bag of opinions regarding the first one. Some say its the best album they have ever made, others, like me feel that WDADU was a horrible ambition-laden attempt at an epic prog recording.

 

Steve Vai is a guitarist that I have a lot of respect for, but don`t listen to much. Some of his stuff is just plain boring, other songs are absolutely brilliant. Fire Garden Suite would most definitely count as prog.

 

Morse isn`t what I would define as prog metal.

 

Nice to see that there are some people around here that listen to this music! Sure, there are more, no?

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About Jordan vs. Moore: they're just different. I agree about KM being a lot more soulful and Jordan quite more tecnical. They are both amazing, and yes, I am a DT fan too.

Have you listened to the new album? Jordan is not as prominent as in SFAM. In fact, it's a lot more in the feel of Falling into Infinity, laid back, not as heavy sounding (sometimes). And sorry to say this, but the 41 min song, Six degrees..., sounds at times more like a Korg keyboard demo...

 

Also like Dali's Dilemma, Spock's Beard, and Transatlantic very much. And while there are a bunch of new prog metal bands I can't even remember their names, I really dig when they get together and do tribute albums (Rush, Genesis, Pink Floyd, ELP tributes...)

 

You are NOT alone buddy..

 

Memo

PS. I'm the opposite of you. I can do drums and keys, but can't play anything with strings on it. My fingers are not string-friendly I believe...

Memo

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Roland Fantom 6/Px-5S/Hydrasynth/DX7IIE!

MBP/Logic/Mainstage/Omnisphere/Native/Arturia

Roland Pk-5A

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Originally posted by Harp Heaven:

Actually, I`m not a big fan of Jordan. Its complex music, his technical abilities are mindblowing, but his music lacks soul, IMHO. Plus the brass arrangements give me headaches, and the solos lack original phrasing in any way.

 

Kevin Moore was far better, IMO.

Ditto!

Michael

Q:What do you call a truck with nothing in the bed,nothing on the hitch, and room for more than three people in the cab? A:"A car"....
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IMO there's room for skillful playing that supposedly "lacks soul". Not that I'd make it a steady musical diet but to hear people who can really burn on their instruments and are unafraid to do so, well.... there IS fire in that kinda playing, and fire is a bit of soul as much as sadness, joy, or melancholy. PEACE

 

Originally posted by tenthplanet:

Ditto!

Michael

I used to think I was Libertarian. Until I saw their platform; now I know I'm no more Libertarian than I am RepubliCrat or neoCON or Liberal or Socialist.

 

This ain't no track meet; this is football.

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Not to quibble here but.... ummm.... guess I'm gonna quibble :)

 

How can you possibly improvise uptempo 32nd-note runs and choose each note very carefully? Not that I'm any sort of master here but at that speed, generally I'll choose a destination and the beginning of a pattern - and then let my fingers take over. I mean, there IS some choice along the way but not every single note with all the dynamics....

 

 

Originally posted by Harp Heaven:

Of course! You don`t have to do an 1 note per beat solo to have a soulful one. Richard West is a guy that plays with lightning speed, but he uses a lot of cool phrasing, plus that he obviously chooses every note carefully, even when he`s burning through 32th runs.

I used to think I was Libertarian. Until I saw their platform; now I know I'm no more Libertarian than I am RepubliCrat or neoCON or Liberal or Socialist.

 

This ain't no track meet; this is football.

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How can you possibly improvise uptempo 32nd-note runs and choose each note very carefully?

 

I think I do...I'm definitly choosing each note most of the time...on occasion I just play one of many scales as transition to my next idea but the meat of my improvising, regardless of tempo is very deliberate...each note has it's own meaning.

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Allan is one of the best examples of high speed improvising. A true virtuoso, I would recommend getting the "Heavy Machinery" CD, where he plays with ex-yngwie malmsteen keyboardist Jens Johannson. Its not neoclassical at all, its acid rock, but more accesible than Holdsworths solo projects(which are heavy listenings.

 

But: Remember, Allan doesn`t use scales, most of the high tempo runs he plays are atonal, so he is seeing patterns, but not patterns of tones, patterns of finger positions.

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Originally posted by Harp Heaven:

Allan is one of the best examples of high speed improvising. A true virtuoso, I would recommend getting the "Heavy Machinery" CD, where he plays with ex-yngwie malmsteen keyboardist Jens Johannson. Its not neoclassical at all, its acid rock, but more accesible than Holdsworths solo projects(which are heavy listenings.

 

Quite a bit more hard fusion than acid rock, IMO. Rippin' album, but it puts me to sleep after a while.

 

Yeah, I play/sing in a band that is more or less prog metal. It's quite a bit heavier than DT and their ilk though...The vocals are mostly clean, but the instrumentation on our newest material owes more to Meshugghah, Devin Townsend, and NIN than DT. You might find it amusing, though...

 

Ian

 

Chiaroscuro @ mp3.com

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I listened to the mp3`s from your album.

What can I say?

 

It was amazing, I really, really enjoyed it. Kickass nu-metallish guitar riffing, tight.

 

Keyboards are VERY Kevin Moore, you`re really wanking those sus4 chords :) But its done with taste, so I`ll let it pass ;)

 

Keep up the good work, this was really worth a listening!

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The first two tracks on our mp3.com page are from the album, and they are very DT-ish, especially Luminescence (which is the song I imagine you're referring to with all the sus chords). I like to think that the newer stuff gets away from that, to some extent...I admit, though, that Kevin Moore was one of my first big keyboard influences. :)

 

Thanks for checking out the tunes. Glad you enjoyed them!

 

Ian

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FWIW: Pain of Salvation is having a release party & concert in their home town, Eskilstuna,Sweden, this friday.

 

Shortly thereafter PoS will go on a European tour as support for Dream Theater.

 

/Mats

http://www.lexam.net/peter/carnut/man.gif

What do we want? Procrastination!

When do we want it? Later!

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Originally posted by coyote:

IMO there's room for skillful playing that supposedly "lacks soul". Not that I'd make it a steady musical diet but to hear people who can really burn on their instruments and are unafraid to do so, well.... there IS fire in that kinda playing, and fire is a bit of soul as much as sadness, joy, or melancholy. PEACE

 

 

Maybe that's what makes rock different; in jazz if a player really burns up the keys he usually has soul to boot.

 

Michael

Q:What do you call a truck with nothing in the bed,nothing on the hitch, and room for more than three people in the cab? A:"A car"....
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Originally posted by tenthplanet:

Maybe that's what makes rock different; in jazz if a player really burns up the keys he usually has soul to boot.

 

That's an interesting observation. I think I agree with it too. I wonder why it would be so, though?

 

Cheers,

 

Jerry

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I think it's a combination of things: the 'swing' of jazz tends to make an impression of feeling in the music. The same material applied to a more rock-type rhythm seemingly has far less 'soul'. The same techniques used in bebop are prevalent in current "smooth jazz", yet this stuff is perceived as lacking soul compared to much other jazz.

 

Then we come to attitude. There is a whole range of emotion available in rock that isn't really expressible in the jazz idiom. It's not the kind of emotion typically associated with 'soul', yet it's part of the human experience.

 

 

Originally posted by Tusker:

Originally posted by tenthplanet:

Maybe that's what makes rock different; in jazz if a player really burns up the keys he usually has soul to boot.

That's an interesting observation. I think I agree with it too. I wonder why it would be so, though?

Cheers,

Jerry

 

[ 01-17-2002: Message edited by: coyote ]

I used to think I was Libertarian. Until I saw their platform; now I know I'm no more Libertarian than I am RepubliCrat or neoCON or Liberal or Socialist.

 

This ain't no track meet; this is football.

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The year is 2002 now!

Somebody is bound to mention a "song" sooner or later.

 

All that widdling is lifeless, pompous, bombastic drivel.

 

what is the point......

 

No really what "is" the point!

 

Why play one note when 32 will do just as well, No wait that cant be right.....can it?

 

LOL

Alan. (bored)

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All that widdling is lifeless, pompous, bombastic drivel.

 

what is the point......

 

No really what "is" the point!

 

Why play one note when 32 will do just as well, No wait that cant be right.....can it?

 

I'm somewhat curious to know what prompted this response.

 

Why play more notes or play fast?...because I can and it's fun as hell. It's fun to listen to also...well at least for me and a lot of other people it is.

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You are absolutely right,

It is FUN But is that all you are trying to do....have fun,

Surely there are other elements to performing than fun,

I too go bananas while working out parts and its great fun.Really stretch those chops!

But when I sit down to select the ones I will use I think the fun is then in the selection of the right notes and not using all of them.

If my Publisher asked me why a track had your approach and I said it was fun, I am certain that wouldn't be the answer he was looking for!

Each to their own, and I'm glad you get so much out of it, Its just my opinion, which matters not one bit by the way, that most of the best music there is will contain subtler playing and more considered note selection.

 

Go nuts though, Whatever gets you off as they say.

 

Best regards

Alan.

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It is FUN But is that all you are trying to do....have fun,

Surely there are other elements to performing than fun,

 

Well, sure there are other elements. Why are you arguing that one element should be eliminated and/or that it has no validity at all?

 

Seems like you're feeling a bit superior today...no prob. :)

 

Why would you give really creative music to a publisher anyway? :)

 

But when I sit down to select the ones I will use I think the fun is then in the selection of the right notes and not using all of them.

 

If I used all of them I'd be playing with my elbows. :D I have no problem with you expressing your opinion but you are assuming a lot and insulting the musical taste of some damn popular musicians.

 

Why can't there be countless approaches to music that are all valid? I'll answer it for you...it's about money for most artists/musicians, too much variety is hard to keep under control. Just MY opinion...I could be wrong. ;)

 

You probably weren't talking directly to me (or to my music) in your first post but just to make it clear...I don't sit down to write music anymore...if I had to sit down and think about what the 'RIGHT' notes were I'd be severely limiting my creativity, as soon as you start thinking about what you're composing you're clouding it with bullshit.

 

I've got plenty of music that has the supposed "RIGHT" notes...one per measure...one per 4 measures sometimes...are you suggesting that I just limit myself to that?

 

Is Experimentation wrong?? Should I just be writing Pop songs and giving them to my Publisher in hopes that it meets his approval and he can sell it? I did that for 5 years...should I have kept doing it for the rest of my life?

 

I'm not trying to change your mind...I really want to understand where you're coming from so that I don't have to relie on the assumptions I'm already making about you. :)

 

[ 01-18-2002: Message edited by: Steve LeBlanc ]

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